The Qualifications and Responsibilities of Deacons

TITLE: The Qualifications and Responsibilities of Deacons

SUBJECT: Leadership

PROPOSITION: In this lesson, we will examine the office of the deacon its 1) History, 2) Responsibilities, 3) Qualifications, and 4) Rewards.

OBJECTIVE: The hearer should be able to locate and discuss the New Testament passages dealing with the office of the deacon.

AIM: Considering the appointment of new deacons, I hope to be able to focus thought on this office and the one being considered for appointment.


1. Read: Phil.1:1

2. About the Text:

1) Paul is writing to the church at Philippi.

2) He mentions the bishops and deacons.

3) The word deacon is a transliteration of the Greek word diakonos.

4) This word was the common word for “servant” or “minister” and is so translated that way some 26 out of 30 times.

5) Four times it is translated “deacon” in reference to the office of the deacon.

6) How did this office originate, who can be a member and what is its purpose?

3. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.

DISCUSSION: In looking at the office of the deacon in the New Testament we find . . .

I.   Some Historical Information about Deacons — Acts 6:1-7

1. The first controversy in the church–some were being neglected.

2. The apostles first and foremost responsibility was to the word and prayer as commissioned by the Lord himself (Matthew 28:19-20).

3. There was a need for someone to minister to these real, but physical needs.

4. The apostles said to “look out from among you” seven men whom the apostles would appoint.

5. They were to be of honest report, full of the Spirit, and wisdom.

6. They were to be in charge of this specific “business.”

II.  The Responsibilities of the Deacon

1. Deacons are servants.

i. All Christians are to be servants and have the mind of a servant (Phil.2:5).

ii. Deacons, therefore, should be examples of what it means to be a servant as they are raised up in the eyes of the brethren for this specific purpose.

2. He is responsible for a specific area of service.

i. In the case of Acts 6:1-7 it was attending to the Grecian widows.

ii. The eldership oversees all matters of the local church (Acts 20:28).

iii. Deacons are over specific areas of service.

3. This specific area of service deals with routine business and physical necessities.

i. Acts 6 shows they were to help with the daily ministry to the widows.

ii. This support structure permits the elders and preacher to focus on uniquely spiritual needs.

iii. This does not mean that deacons will never be involved in teaching the word and in prayer (Acts 6, 7, 8). Stephen and Philip both taught.

4. As a servant, he must be faithful to his area of service (1 Corinthians 4:2).

III. The Qualifications (1 Timothy 3:8-12)

1. Moral Qualifications

i. Of honest report (Acts 6)

ii. Grave – serious, somber, about the business to be conducted. Must not be conducted with a slack hand or with a flippant attitude.

iii. Not double-tongued – does not say one thing to one and another thing to another (Psalm 15:4 “He that sweareth to his own hurt and changeth not).

iv. Not given to much wine – he is not a glutton.

v. Not greedy of filthy lucre – no lover of money (1 Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.”)

vi. Must be proved – he must have served within the congregation for a time.

vii. Blameless – He does not have a reputation for evil, but he is not sinless.

2. Spiritual Qualifications

i. Filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 6) – Must know the word of God.

ii. Filled with wisdom (Acts 6) – Must know how to apply the word of God.

iii. Holding the mystery of the faith – He has the right standard in his mind.

iv. In a pure conscience – He executes his life based on that standard.

3. Qualifications of Family

i. Husbands of one wife.

1) The wife must be grave – serious, somber about the business to be conducted.

2) Not slanderers – not one who is going to talk maliciously regarding others.

3) Sober – having the right attitude toward herself.

4) Faithful in all things.

ii. Ruling their children well – Their children are orderly.

iii. Ruling their house well – He loves his wife and children; he cares for his family; he follows the example of Abraham, Genesis 18:19 “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.”

IV.  The Spiritual Rewards of a Deacon (1 Timothy 8:13).

1. They must have used the office of the deacon well.

2. They purchase a good degree or good standing.

i. They may become evangelists like Stephen and Phillip.

ii. They may become elders.

iii. They may remain deacons.

iv. There is no path of promotion here.

3. They purchase great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

i. By receiving great support and encouragement from the brethren.

ii. By knowing their responsibilities.

iii. By being involved with the eldership.

iv. By supporting the preaching and teaching of the word of God.


1. We have noticed this evening four points regarding the office of the deacon.

i. The history of the office.

ii. The responsibilities of the office.

iii. The qualifications of the office.

iv. The rewards of the office.

2. Invitation